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Why B2C Marketers and Agencies Need to Work Together

Steve Olenski
Director of CMO Content & Strategy

This is not breaking news by any means but there are currently 7 billion people on our planet right now. And by the year 2100, it is expected to reach over 11 billion according to the United Nations. It is also not breaking news to say that a great number of current 7 billion inhabitants of Earth are consumers; buyers; purchasers of goods, services, wares and so on. 

For example did you know every 30 seconds in the US alone, over 700 McDonald’s burgers, 2,200 Dunkin’ Donuts, and 2,700 Starbucks coffees are sold? The point is with so many consumers making so many transactions around the world there is an undeniable need for consumer brands and their agencies to be closely aligned—now more than ever. 

It used to be that a brand’s internal teams did their thing and their agency partner(s) did theirs. Oh sure there was some collaboration—there had to be. But the lines were pretty clear as to who did what.

That Was Then... 

Those days are gone. Forever. A key finding of a Forbes Insights global study—sponsored by Oracle Marketing Cloud—speak loud and clear as to the changes that are happening, literally as we speak:

  • 60% of brand and agency executives say their roles and responsibilities have changed significantly over the past two years. 

As a result, both groups are reengineering their internal organizations and forging new ways of working with their respective agency or brand counterparts. At the same time, the research found that technology is ingrained in marketing operations and—perhaps most significantly of all—agency and brand stakeholders are challenging themselves to analyze and apply consumer data in more sophisticated ways.

Any change is bound to cause either an opportunity or a challenge disguised as an opportunity. And this is no different with:

  • 48% of marketing executives stating that evolving brand and agency roles are making successful collaboration more difficult.

One brand that looks at this challenge as an opportunity is PayPal. In fact, agency and brand teams have become so fully integrated that they’re often seen as a single, fully integrated resource for the business.

“Whether it’s the digital agency that’s helping us drive our acquisitions or the creative team, each is immersed with our internal marketing team,” says Patrick Adams, head of consumer marketing at PayPal North America. “I often don’t delineate between my full-time employees and my agency people. They’re all seen as one and the same as the relationships become tighter and more significant.”

Make no mistake about it, however. At the heart of these efforts is a drive to effectively gather and mine rich sources of customer data. 

Kevin Koh, CEO of DDB Group Korea says the coming together of all data is vital. “We are aware that a client will have their own data and their own opinions on what they believe will be best for their brand. But we will also have our own data. We need to collaborate together so that we can share the data and create campaigns and strategies that will create long-lasting impact with consumers.”

There is more to this story including the obstacles brands and agencies face to have better working relationships and how to overcome them—that you need to read it all to truly get the big picture. Download The Age of Brand, Agency & Customer Collaboration to see what I mean. 

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